TOC H, an interdenominational organization for Christian social service, founded as a memorial to British youth who per ished in the World War. At Hooge, in the first German liquid fire attack in July 1915, there fell a lad named Gilbert Talbot, lieutenant in the Rifle Brigade and son of the bishop of Win chester. In the following December in the Flemish town of Poperinghe a soldiers' club named "Talbot House" was opened in his memory.
In charge of this house was a Church of England chaplain, the Rev. P. B. Clayton, M.C., who created there a centre of rest and recreation unique in its kind. In 192o Clayton established in London a new Talbot house, using, as this name was already appropriated, the signallers method of pronouncing its initials, namely "To,c H." The plan was to establish in the salient of London a house where men of all kinds would congregate and many of them live, dedicating a reasonable proportion of their leisure time to the service of their fellow men and, by including in its membership all men of goodwill.
In 1922 the movement had so extended, not only through houses or "Marks" as they are called but also in branches through out the country that it became incorporated by royal charter, with H.R.H. the Prince of Wales as its patron. In 1928 it had
extended through the English speaking world and beyond the confines of the British empire. Capturing the imagination of youth by its call to service and sacrifice, developed on a wide yet deep interdenominational Christian basis, drawing together men of all classes and types often mutually antagonistic, it has become one of the greatest powers for good, by service to man, fellow . ship of the most genuine kind and spiritual development and expression. Regular membership involves a probationary test and the work of its members and branches is reviewed annually.
Each branch is entrusted with a Lamp of Maintenance, first lighted by the patron and relighted with simple ceremony at every meeting in remembrance of "the Elder Brethren" and in re dedication to the task they left unfinishedóbuilding "a new Jerusalem." (R. C. G.)